NO PLACE LIKE HOME | THE DISASTER DIARY: ENTRY 3
By Led Black
I woke up this morning feeling depleted, defeated, deflated and depressed. It is now officially 2 weeks since we have been given the order to vacate and we are still staying in hotels. Before this whole ordeal, I thought my wife and I had pretty complicated, busy lives. We both have full-time jobs and are full-time parents with all the responsibilities and entanglements that come with it. On top of the day job, I also try to get some writing done when I am not changing pampers or picking up my oldest daughter from Tae Kwon Do. This catastrophe has completely upturned our lives. I still have a mortgage and taxes to pay; I just don’t have a home. Like everything else, our commute is now much more hellish. Wifey now gets up at around 4:30 to prepare the daily trip into the Heights to take my 2 youngest girls to my mom to take care of and her job is also in the area. I drive 13 miles from the hotel to our town of Lodi to take my 8-year-old to her elementary school and then another 22 miles to get to work. After work I go to the hotel and after dinner I return to our home to walk the dog, get the mail and then sleep-drive back to the hotel. That is another thing; I have left our dog Smokey, a red-nose Pit Bull, at home to protect the house because I have heard horror stories of homes with Red Tags (Orders to Vacate) being burglarized. He is lonely but what can I do.
I have not had a good night’s sleep since the 24th of April. As sleepy as I am, once I hit the bed and turn off the lights, I just lay there and worry. I have spent the last few nights searching for an apartment online to no avail. Most people looking to rent apartments want a tenant for at least a year but I don’t know long it will take to make the necessary repairs to get me back in my house. And that is the crux of the problem, the wall that needs to be repaired doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to the neighbor above me. The town of Lodi is trying to force him to make the repairs but he is using delaying tactics to not do a thing. The painting above, The Scream, by Edvard Munch captures how I feel at this moment precisely.